26 Sep 2017

Julia Reda is the hero we need

Reda holds internet access to be as sacred as access to water and electricity. She also believes in a borderless, compassionate Europe. In short, she’s cool. But that’s not what makes her a hero.

Editorial Team
Editorial Team NewsMavens, Europe
Julia Reda is the hero we need - NewsMavens
Julia Reda, Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

With most of this week’s news cycle dominated by Angela Merkel’s bittersweet victory and the arrival of a right-wing, nationalist party in the German parliament, an unsung hero’s feat has gone unnoticed.

At 30 years old, Julia Reda has the resume of an accomplished baby boomer. (Check out her Wiki bio, but I’m not linking because I want you to keep reading this.)

She is one of the co-founders of Young Pirates of Europe, a pan-European organization fighting for digital rights in Europe. She is also a member of the European Parliament, and a member of the Pirate Party Germany, whose aims are to preserve civil rights in the digital sphere and to increase political transparency.

Reda holds internet access to be as sacred as access to water and electricity. She also believes in a borderless, compassionate Europe. In short, she’s cool. But that’s not what makes her a hero.

On Wednesday Sept. 20, it was revealed that the EU hid the result of a study it commissioned.

The study in question established that, in most cases, online piracy does not harm the sales of books, films, games and music.

The research has come to light because Reda realized that the EU never published the results, and filed an official request for this to happen. She then posted it on her blog (link below).

While the European Union is a beacon of hope for EU citizens with conservative and undemocratic governments, it too is vulnerable to the trappings of power, and must be carefully monitored in order to remain accountable. Otherwise we could be denied important information that goes against its political agenda. But not on Reda’s watch.

Details from the story:

  • The European Commission commissioned research on the impact of online piracy on sales of cultural goods, but never published the resulting report
  • Reba had to send an access to documents request (filed under the European Union’s Freedom of Information law on July 27, 2017) on three occasions before being granted access to the report
  • The European Commission filed a controversial proposal to surveil all user-uploaded content in order to compensate the "displacement of value from licensed music streaming services to hosting services like YouTube"
  • The report finds no evidence of such displacement of value
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The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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